Google has a unveiled a redesign of its Google+ social network at this year’s Google I/O conference in San Francisco. The Google+ redesign more closely resembles existing social media sites like Pintrerest and Facebook by emphasizing images rather than text.
According to Mashable, Google is doing more than giving Google+ a simple surface upgrade. The Google+ redesign comes alongside 41 all-new features for the social network.
One of the most-hyped adjustments is the inclusion of related hashtags similar to Twitter. Unlike Twitter, however, Google+ plans to automatically tag posts with relevant hashtags so that users can more easily sort through related content.
"Behind the scenes, we’ll also identify and rank relevant conversations across the network," Google said. "When you click on the related hashtag, we’ll flip the card, and let you browse related content inline."
One of the most interesting announcements to come out of the Google+ I/O speech was the introduction of a new feature called Auto Awesome. Yes, that’s seriously its name. With Auto Awesome, Google+ can automatically transform photos in drastic ways. For example, it can change a set of related photos on the site into an animated GIF file or stitch a series of photos together to create one astounding photograph.
"If you upload a sequence of photos, we’ll try and animate them automatically," Google said in a statement. "Or if you send us a few family portraits, we’ll find everyone’s best smile, and stitch them together into a single shot. Likewise with panoramas, filmstrips and a whole lot more. We call these kinds of enhancements Auto Awesome."
Google also announced that the I/O conference that 190 million people are now actively using Google+ as a social network. It’s a far cry from Facebook’s dominance over the social networking dominance, but those kinds of numbers could be a big step forward for a company that many saw as bungling the initial Google+ launch.
Watch a few promotional videos highlighting Google+’s new functionality and redesign below.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.